When most people hear that my husband played in the NFL, their first comment will be “Wow, that must have been pretty cool!” or “What does it feel like to be married to a professional athlete?” And my usual reply is “It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”
From the outsiders view, the life of an NFL player and his family is glamorous, exciting, care-free and lots of fun. They get to play games for a living. Well, I’m here to tell you that what people perceive isn’t reality. Yes, there are a lot of perks, but it is a struggle as well with a lot of sacrifice, injury, heartache and angst.
Among the few first round draft picks who have panned out, and didn’t let the fame and fortune go to their heads, are the unsung heroes of the game. These are the players that were barely drafted; the ones that play with a chip on their shoulder because they were told that they were too small, or not good enough; the men who work their butts off to make the cut year in and year out. These are the men that make up most of the NFL and keep the league running, the men that withstand the test of time. One of these men is 10 year veteran Scott Wells, center of the Super Bowl champ Green Bay Packers.
Scott’s sweet wife Julie is a longtime client of mine. Over the years we have made many pieces for her, her adorable little kids – Jackson (8), Lola (5) and Kingston (2) – and a lot of her family members. Scott is always impressed at what Julie and I can do to a plain old jersey to make it glam and FABULOUS. But Julie will be the first wife of an NFL player to tell you that their life isn’t glamorous and storybook all the time.
Julie and Scott met at age 16 in high school at Brentwood Academy in Tennessee. They started dating their sophomore year of high school and haven’t looked back. They ended up going to the same college, the University of Tennessee, where Scott proposed to her when they were both 20 years old, on a stormy night while they were in his dorm room. He had it all planned out. His plan was to watch the movie Love and Basketball together, and then he would give her framed photos of them together. Finally, he was going to present her with a ring he had bought with the money he received from their bowl game that year. HOW SWEET! But not too romantic or glamorous… but that’s Scott: unassuming, down to earth and the average guy.
Yes their story isn’t one that will make people cry or say “awweee,” but their love for each other is definitely one for the books and an example of a solid God-given marriage. It’s not too often you find a couple as in love as these two – a couple that works hard at their marriage; a couple that has stood the test of time and the test of the NFL, not too glamorous but full of love and able to endure. Sort of like a lot of the men like Scott in the NFL. Not the most glamorous players, but men working hard using a God-given talent to succeed year in and year out.
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Leah J. Miller made her name as a personal designer and custom outfitter to MLB, NBA and NFL families with the launch of Bella Artistry. Known affectionately throughout the professional sports industries as “The Diamond Duchess”, she has been custom tailoring and embellishing the official jerseys and wardrobes of ballers’ significant others and children with Swarovski crystals since 1999. Her designs have been featured in the 2008, 2009, and 2010 HBO Hard Knocks football training camp special as well as the Washington Post, and the Diamond Duchess will make her debut as a Costume Designer this Fall for the ABC-TV drama Ghostbreakers. You can learn more about Bella Artistry and see many of Leah’s creations by clicking here.
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